Rugby Darwinism

The other night, we had a meeting to plan our tournament that is being held Saturday. Afterwards, a bunch of us men and women hung around enjoying some food, beer and each other’s company after long days of work.

The men’s coach, a man who also works with me at my job, told me that he heard our only girls high school team in our city was on the brink of death due to lack of players. And then he asked if I could do something.

Could I do something to help? I sat there for a moment and the weight of all of things that I balance suddenly came to a screeching halt in the juggling act that is my life. All of them hovering mid-air in a halo of activity and commitment. And then I realized, that no, I couldn’t do very much at all. Not if I wanted to keep all of my already being juggled items in the air. Not if I didn’t want to see something crash someday because I reached the tipping point of being overburdened.

It was quite sad that I could do almost nothing to help save this team, due to the fact that I am struggling to keep my own team healthy among far too many other commitments. I promised to contact one of my teammates who was helping coach these girls (which I did and it’s true) and that I would follow-up with some of our alumni and see if anyone was interested in helping more. We decided to talk more this week at our team meeting and possibly do some mutual recruiting efforts.

It seems that the girls on the team were recruiting though too, but “no one wanted to join the team”. This seems a bit far-fetched to me and I think that possibly more heavy promotion is required and a bit of sweat, but I can’t be sure. I also – in a flashback to my own remembrances of high school social mores – wondered if it wasn’t in part an effect of what “classifications” of girls were on the team … were girls not joining the team because it was “uncool”?

This just saddened me more. And I do feel pretty helpless in my ability to help. But if I expect to help my previous commitments be successful, I certainly can’t take on even more.

And I have alwasy imagined that in a few years when I had reached the end of my active rugby-playing career, that I will be a coach in some capacity. So it is further sad that the timing just isn’t working out.

We’ll see what happens … hopefully, this team’s not done fighting from lack of effort.

UPDATE from the Comments: KT at USA Rugby wanted to pass this on for Youth teams (and all teams) to help in promotion for their teams. Check this out: http://www.usarugby.org/playing/youth/promote.html.

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3 responses to “Rugby Darwinism

  1. Katy

    don’t you feel badly about this, blondie! you can’t do it all. we have all been in that position and you just have to remember that when you do retire from playing, you will be an amazing coach for that program. they will find someone to step up!

  2. Anonymous

    so here’s some stuff we have been working on…http://www.usarugby.org/playing/youth/promote.html

    we are building an on-line development “tool box” which includes posters and other such things. some striking visual images help to make activities seem “cool” at school, plus you can print them off from your home PC – email me and I would be glad to lend more ideas to help any programs – kwurst@usarugby.org

  3. John Birch

    I love the clearness and simplicity of the girls’ poster – interestingly different to RFUW (and our own efforts).

    I am a bit concerned that you seem to have kidnapped our U14 hooker and captain for next season, though! We expect her back by 3rd September!!

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